Steve McClendon, DT
McClendon is one of the weirder case studies in the NFL because he has been consistently good as a rotational defensive tackle, but he has had his best seasons after he turned 30. Just check out his impact plays:
First 6 years 24-29 years old (1,463 snaps):13 TFLs, 5 sacks
Last 4 years 30-33 years old (1,806 snaps): 28 TFLs, 7.5 sacks
That is pretty great from a rotational DT who does most of the dirty work in the trenches and isn’t usually put in a position to be the guy that makes the play.
Another thing that makes him so attractive as a trade target is that he on year two of a two-year deal, and it is smart not to overcommit to a 34-year-old defensive tackle even after he had a career year.
Look at it this way, last year Jurrell Casey had 5 sacks and 5 TFLs in 872 snaps and cost more than $10 million per year. McClendon had 2.5 sacks and 10 TFLs last year in just 465 snaps and he while costs less than $3 million this year.
That seems like a no brainer because you have a 34-year-old defensive tackle on a team that isn’t going to be good enough to make use of his talent. Why wouldn’t you try to get something out of him before he leaves next year.